austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I can lock all my doors

With the regular day begun and figuring we couldn't get another round on Mystic Timbers we looked at the park just to take in the whole experience. It was already a hot, sunny day and bunny_hugger and I thought to do something out of character. We'd try the log flume. It's Peanuts-themed, since Cedar Fair parks own that license. But this is the rare Peanuts-themed ride that makes a lick of sense, since it's titled ``Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown''. Going along a river ride is sensible. While we enjoyed that --- after the big splashdown there's even a statue of Snoopy and Woodstock in a tub, shooting water at the riders --- MWS went off to get his all-day drinks wristband. We had the all-day drinks thing on our season passes (and had even used them, none too much, at Michigan's Adventure and at Cedar Point). MWS wasn't so much for log flume rides, an attitude he would come to regret (watch this space!) although not at Kings Island.

So from there off to The Beast. This is Kings Island's other, older, biggest, world-class wooden roller coaster. It's the ride of the park. It should have been a fiasco: a coaster designed by someone who'd never designed a roller coaster, paid for by people who weren't asking questions, that kept sprawling out in the construction. And yet it turned out great. Turned out fantastic. It goes far off into the woods. It's a better ride at night, as you go racing through the dark and quiet, but it's still a great ride by day. Also by day we could notice stuff set up around the park that was clearly Halloween decor, such as the warehouse behind the ride station that's labelled the Slaughterhouse.

One more bit of unfinished business. When bunny_hugger and I went to Kings Island a couple years ago we were foiled in riding Flight of Fear. It's a linear induction-launched coaster, an indoor one, with a heavy flying saucer theme. (And was originally titled Outer Limits: Flight of Fear, back when the park was owned by Paramount and it was the 90s and the Outer Limits remake was a thing anyone remembered.) When we'd previously visited the ride was plagued with shutdowns; apparently, the early induction-motor launchers are just tetchy. And we'd gotten to the ride late, leaving not a lot of time to wait out glitches. This time we went early, discovered there wasn't much of a line --- we were able to join the queue right about where we'd had to give up last time around --- and joy of joys, we got to ride. I like induction-launchd coaster; it's a nice, slightly supernatural feeling. And the flying-saucer/aliens setting works nicely for it.

Some more rides, such as Diamondback, the big steel coaster built out over the pond. It has a nice final hill that touches the water, creating this enormous satisfying spray behind it that nobody on the train can see because they're in front of it. The ride's got a nice dramatic plexiglass box of broken cell phones warning what happens to those who take these things out while on the ride. It's also the spot where I realized I'd left my camera on simulated ISO 3200, so that all my photos were a touch overexposed. From this point everything gets a little better color-balanced. You'll see.

I don't remember what we had for lunch. What I remember standing out about it is we saw that we got these modest, maybe 12-ounce, cups for our season-pass free-drinks plan. MWS got this larger, maybe 16-ounce, cup for his day free-drinks plan. We understood instinctively why free-drinks people would get smaller cups than people buying the regular or the large sodas. But why would season-pass free-drinkers get an even smaller cup than the day free-drinkers? And it wasn't a quirk of that drinks stand, or even that day, or that park: it would be consistently smaller when we visited Michigan's Adventure and Cedar Point later in the season, at least until late enough in the season that cup discipline was clearly breaking down or they ran out of the small cups. It's a small, mysterious thing.

Also there and less generally mysterious: a petting farm. It was set up in a converted amphitheater. The stage was still there, as well as the ghost of the brackets where seats were mounted. This one was billed as Snoopy's Barnyard Friends, giving us the third label for a Cedar Fair petting zoo in as many parks. Also another slightly baffling Peanuts tie-in because, hey, remember all those great Peanuts strips where they went to a farm? ... Yeah. Well, there were some, which at least makes a petting farm more on-point than amusement parks. (As best I can tell there's exactly one week of story in which any Peanuts character went to a fair, never mind an amusement park. As best I can tell a Tilt-a-Whirl is the only amusement or carnival ride to ever be featured in Peanuts.) Despite the peculiar theme and slightly awkward space they had some nice setups with all the animals you might hope for. Ducks and geese. A llama that doesn't seem to know why she's there. Pygmy goats. A whole mass of bunnies, some of them who'd even not quite had enough kids thrusting hands at them and so were sitting in petting range and not under cover. A great little moment of animal contact in the midst of our amusement park visit.

Trivia: The West Side & Yonkers Patent Railway property --- the first elevated railroad in New York City --- was sold at bankruptcy auction on 15 November 1870 for $960.00. Source: 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, Clifton Hood.

Currently Reading: Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, David Aaronovitch.


PS: some more Silverball Museum pinball beauty shots.

SAM_9113.jpg

Midway's 1963 Midway Champ, one of those games that challenges your conceptual theory of pinball. The targets advance one of two cars on a little track, embedded in the backglass, and the challenge is to get the red or the blue car farther in the allotted time. See some of the targets are good for one car length while others are good for a half or a whole lap.


SAM_9115.jpg

Glass-top view of the playfield for Midway Champ peering up at the backglass, although not quite high enough to see the good backglass toys. You can see the grandstand painted into the backglass scene, though.


SAM_9116.jpg

So here's the backglass toys. The red and blue cars move, I assume, magnetically; at least I don't see obvious sign of tracks. It's a nice little scene embedded in the backglass.


Tags: kings island, pinburgh 2017, silverball museum
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